This comprehensive analysis of The Guardian’s Comment is Free website was written by Hadar Sela at the MERIA Journal, published by The Gloria Center (Global Research in International Affairs)

The British newspaper, the Guardian, has been described as waging a high-priority campaign against Israel in its pages and on its popular website. Does the evidence available–especially regarding the latter–support this opinion, and if so, in what way does this bias express itself, how far-reaching are its effects and consequences, and what–if anything–can be done to counteract it?

The Guardian is Britain’s third most read newspaper after the Daily Telegraph and the Times. As is the case with many newspapers, the sales of its print edition are declining: In January 2009, its daily circulation was 358,844 (a drop of 5.17 percent from January 2008) and by March 2010, its daily circulation had fallen further to 283,063.  However, this trend has been offset by the Guardian’s decision to expand the publication of all its material, together with that of its sibling paper, the Observer, online without charge. In January 2010, the Guardian’s website was the most popular of all UK newspaper sites, with some 37 million unique users per month, 12.6 million of whom were British. In 2008, it was runner-up in the “Webby Awards” for the best political blog, and in 2009, the site won the “best newspaper” category in those same awards.

Describing itself as “the world’s leading Liberal voice,” the Guardian takes a left-of-center stance. A poll by MORI in April to June 2000 showed that 80 percent of the Guardian’s readers were Labour voters. A 2005 poll by the same organization indicated that 48 percent of Guardian readers voted Labour and 34 percent voted Liberal Democrat. In the same year, Sir Max Hastings was quoted as saying “I write for the Guardian because it is read by the new establishment.” In the 2010 UK elections, the Guardian backed the Liberal Democrat party, which for the first time in its history gained a foothold in British government.

See the full essay here.

25 replies »

  1. This is a well-earned condemnation of The Guardian with additional evidence that our disgrace of a PM is a mouthpiece for Khalid Misha’al.

  2. Hadar Sela’s article hits the nail on the head. Duvidl would also have included reference to CifWatch’s 2009 worst Cif article prizewinner Victoria Brittain, the “blue baby” of the left, for her blood libel piece on “blue baby syndrome” in Israel.

  3. The stats are interesting: just one in three of Guardian website users are British.

    Pretty much what I always thought!
    (then again: do I count as non-British because I post from Germany?)

    As for the report on anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic discourse: yes, there’s all too much of that on CiF.
    Anti-Semitic comments are deleted (although in some cases the mods seem to dither). Anti-Zionist material is all too often left up there too long, however.

    The report also mentions:
    “a significant proportion of vacancies in the public sector including education, media and the government are advertised on the Guardian’s pages”

    That is true – but a) the Guardian is one of the biggest papers in the UK and b) what proportion of those reading the ads are even aware of CiF? and c) how many of them even read the print edition coverage of Israel/Palestine?

    I personally find CiF/Guardian coverage of I/P OTT and biased – but I sincerely doubt it has the influence/importance some genuinely believe/fear.

  4. Blue baby Victoria Brittain takes a leading role in Duvidl’s new song, as follows:

    The Guardian Disease Song
    (to the tune of “Colonel Bogie” or “Hitler Has Only Got One Ball” vocal)
    (Hat tip: British Tradition)

    Whistled introduction

    Victoria has gone and got the fleas.
    It really is quite a slight disease,
    Beside the rabies she gives blue babies;
    Rabies and fleas make her wheeze when she pees.

    Bella has gone and got the crabs.
    She caught them while mule-ing acid tabs.
    Up her pudenda, with them they send her.
    Customs up-end her on Dad’s driveway slabs.

    Georgina has got gin-cirrhosis.
    At least it’s better than Cif-ilis.
    She’s no fear of vile gonorrhea.
    Post-hysterectomy, she gives sex a miss.

    DS Al Coda

  5. Actually, the Guardian is a disgrace to the concept of “liberal” It is anything but “liberal” – a cesspool of often uninformed opinions and prejudices wrapped up in a 1930’s Stalinist style strait-jacket.

    In the article they point out that:

    “it also means that racist hate speech–for example comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa or the Nazi regime–is not infrequently left standing on the CiF site.”

    However, the flip side of this is also true. Try making the same comments about an Islamic nation and your comment will be deleted within minutes or even seconds. The point is that it is now considered totally normal for the Guardian’s contributors – specially the Jewish ones like Rachel Shabi – and those commenting on the threads to use these analogies for Israel and Israelis – in a way that would not and is not countenanced for regimes that are notorious for their atrocious human rights records.

    The insidious use of Jewish stalking horses like Shabi, Lerman, Freedman etc. to provide cover for their agenda is one of them disgusting aspects of the Guadrian’s attacks on Israel. Of course, that is equally true of those who rush to let themselves be used in this manner.

  6. The Guardian have pioneered the use of the word “zionist” as a means of abuse. Today it’s the latest fasion in racial slurs. Its important that people realize this and get called out for using it as a club to beat anybody that dares to stand up for Israel, and as a means of expressing latent anti-semitism. For more information see

  7. AKUS, I really can’t understand why Jonathan Freedland – I assume your “Freeman” is a typo for Freeland – allows himself to be used in this way.
    Unless he wants to be classed as a Theobald Jew of the Lerman type he really should do the honourable thing and dissociate himself from the Grauniad now.
    I have the impression that Freedland is a naive idealist, rather than a malign Israel-hater like the Theobalds; by sticking with the Grauniad he finds himself covered in their muck.
    Time to jump the stile, Jonathan, leaving chip-on-his-shoulder Lerman to wallow in the dung, much of it of his own making.

  8. Yvetta Bagel

    Unless he wants to be classed as a Theobald Jew of the Lerman type he really should do the honourable thing and dissociate himself from the Grauniad now.

    I hardly think that Freedland would hardly lose any sleep over anyone unhinged enough to call him a “Theobald Jew”.

  9. “The Guardian is Britain’s third most read newspaper after the Daily Telegraph and the Times.”

    Eh? And the Mail, the Mirror, the Express, the Sun?
    The only national daily the Daily Groan outsells is the moribund Indendent.

    Not that you’d know this if she listened to the BBC, where the Guardian is always the go-to newspaper.

  10. You are absolutely right Pretzelberg . Why call him a Theobald Jew when you can call him a Kapo instead.

  11. Ms Bagel

    AKUS is not referring to Jonathan Freedland, who is an honest and professional journalist, but Seth Freedman who, instead, is an “As-a-Jew” sh*it-stirrer, whom the G publishes quite deliberately to dump on Israel, and who is entirely devoid of journalistic training or talent.

  12. pretzelberg

    “Anti-Semitic comments are deleted (although in some cases the mods seem to dither). Anti-Zionist material is all too often left up there too long, however.”

    Nothing should be deleted simply because it is “Anti-Zionist material”. Wouldn’t you agree?

  13. Actually Derek, how about the Guardian Rag and maybe Duvid our resident wit could coin new words to that old song The Varsity Drag?(June Allyson, Peter Lawford)

  14. Geary, many thanks for the clarification.
    It just makes me all the more convinced that Freedland needs to divorce himself from such company.

  15. In my view, no comments should be deleted. Let the gross antisemitic or anti-Israel material stand, to the eternal shame of the writers and to that of the Guardian, which has adopted a policy designed to attract such posters.

    What is most reprehensible, already discussed at length here on CiFWatch, is the wholesale deletion or removal without trace of pro-Israel posts. It is here that the Stalinist instinct to obliterate criticism of the article writers and their favoured commenters is most felt.

  16. Something like this Jane?

    We’ve always thought
    Knowledge is naught,
    We should be taught to hate,
    Right here at cif
    we beg to dif,

    We teach a great new dance,
    Lenin, Hitler, Mussolini,

    Do the Mussolini! Do the Houdini!

    I speak of the drag.
    Why should a sheikh
    learn how to speak
    Latin and Greek badly?
    Give him a neat
    Motto complete

    We hate Jews! Oh yes we do!

    And so can you.

    First lesson right now,
    You’ll love it and how you’ll love it:
    Here is the drag, see how it goes,
    Villify them here, villify them there,
    That’s the way to do the Juice Killer Blues,

    Hotter than hot, newer than new,
    Meaner than mean, bluer than blue,
    Gets as much applause as waving the flag!

    You can pass many a class,
    Whether you’re dumb or wise,
    If you’ll all answer the call
    of the Juice Killer Blues!

  17. Thanks Duvid, here is some bedtime reading for Victoria Syphyllis and Georgina Halitosis, evil sisters of the cif:

    Yesterday, upon the stair,
    I met a Jew who wasn’t there
    He wasn’t there again today
    I wish, I wish he’d go away…

    When I came home last night at three
    The Jew was waiting there for me
    But when I looked around the hall
    I couldn’t see him there at all!
    Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
    Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door… (slam!)

    Last night I saw upon the stair
    A little Jew who wasn’t there
    He wasn’t there again today
    Oh, how I wish he’d go away

  18. Geary

    Eh? And the Mail, the Mirror, the Express, the Sun?
    The only national daily the Daily Groan outsells is the moribund Indendent.

    Well. I think that The guardian can no longer be seen as a newspaper.

    It has too much opinion wrapped up as pseudo news and in many cases, simply misrepresents and omits while attempting to subtly manipulate the reader to The Guardian World View..

    What’s called a ‘mind fuck’ in the vernacular.

  19. Derek; Duvidl and probably all at CifWatch know your story. Duvidl also knows that you have met the real creeps face-to-face. Duvidl has learned from your experience and wishes you well in better company than that of your former career. Here’s a rather more congenial a US-style hymn:

    Shall We Gather at The Guardian
    (to the tune of “Shall We Gather at the River.”)
    (hat tip: US Tradition)

    Shall we gather at the Guardian
    To mourn when its burial comes to pa-ass?
    Shall we gather at the Guardian,
    And there sing a requiem mass?

    Yes, we’ll gather at the Guardian;
    Closed down by its administrator guardian.
    No one left at the Guardian to pardon.
    We’ll kick the dregs into the long grass.

    DS Al Coda

  20. Thanks Duvidl.

    btw, I have been of the opinion for a long time that the best collective noun for a group of Davids is a duvet – your id is obscuring your et!